The short answer is: Yes, the text (or copy) on your website dramatically affects your conversion. You may be wasting thousands of dollars driving traffic to your website if you don’t pay attention to what people see when they get there.
What Is The Purpose of Your Website?
Many businesses owners – especially those with service businesses, or businesses selling high-priced solutions think that the only way their website can serve them is as a credibility booster. So far, I haven’t found that to be true if the copy on their website is client-centric, and provides enough detail to:
- Attract Google’s attention;
- Explain exactly what problem the business solves in a way that interests prospects;
Unfortunately, most company websites focus on telling visitors about themselves, and pointing out how great their company and staff are, which is not what your visitors want to learn.
The Brutal Truth Most Businesses Ignore!
Your prospect truly doesn’t care about your business – they just want to know if you can help them solve a pressing problem that is worrying them.
Until they know that you can solve their specific insurance problem, tax problem, electrical problem or whatever, they don’t really care how long you’ve been in business, how many degrees you have, and how many years of experience you have. In fact, once they feel that you can solve the problem that is making their life miserable, they probably don’t care all that much either – they really want to know whether you really can solve their problem (so they’re looking for evidence to support your claims – testimonials, case studies, etc.) and reassure themselves that you exist.
The problem is, most business websites ignore these core pillars and talk about themselves, then they wonder why their websites are ineffective at producing leads and sales.
How Effective Is Your Website at Attracting Visitors?
In my opinion, your website ought to be designed to attract organic traffic. Paid traffic (advertising via Adwords, FaceBook, magazines etc) is a great traffic accelerator, but you don’t want to depend on paid traffic for all your visitors. That means that your website text is crucial.
My favourite analogy is that of a house: if you build a solid foundation, then the super-structure costs less to build and maintain, but if you skimp on the foundation everything else costs more.
Your core pages that describe what your business is, the problems it solves, the process it follows, the services offered, and the people who work in it need to be clearly written, prospect-focused, engaging, and structurally sound so that search engines know what they are talking about. These need to be written on two levels – first and foremost they need to interest readers, secondly they need to help search engines know what they are talking about.
If you get that right and start attracting organic traffic, then when you choose to buy traffic qualified visitors will cost you less. Like a house, you spend more at the outset, but you spend less later on.
How Well Does Your Website Convert Visitors?
- Once visitors arrive at your website what happens?
- Do visitors stay around and read through your pages, or do they hop in and hop out?
- Do you have any way of capturing their details so you can contact them?
- If people call or email you (rather than using your contact form) do you ever ask how they found your business?
These are basic questions, but they will tell you a lot about how effective your website text is. If visitors come to your site as a result of paid advertising and leave immediately then you have just wasted money – your website visitors clearly didn’t find what they were looking for so either your website isn’t speaking to them or your advertisement doesn’t make your product or service clear.
If you don’t have a lead magnet of some description (checklist, case study, ebook, training …) attached to a capture device, then your visitor was wasted: you have no way of contacting them again. Re-targeting visitors who just popped in and out is usually a waste of money.
And finally, you don’t really know how well your website is working unless you ask people who call you ‘out of the blue’ how they heard about you, and why they decided to call you. This question ought to be part of every call, and your receptionist or sales assistant should ask everyone. Many people hate those contact forms on websites because they have no control over the contact, so they call or email instead (another reason to have more than one way of contacting you on your website). You never know, your website may be doing more for your business than you think it is.
Website Structure, Graphic Design, and Copy – How They Work Together
Your website structure, graphic design, and website text or copy work together like the three legs of a stool. They are equal partners. Without clean coding and functional design website visitors will abandon your website in seconds. Evocative graphics that catch the eye and reinforce your message and persona make your business stand out from any other business that may offer similar products or services so great design is important for drawing people in. However, once you have attracted attention, it’s the words on the page that help visitors decide whether you can solve their problem or not.
Whether you convey your message via text or video, those words are critical and the right message can dramatically change your website visitor results and the whole economics of your website.
I believe that a business website should generate positive revenue – it should never be a drain on your business, but for that to happen, you need to have a solid base. Too many companies spend heavily on the website design, and graphics or branding, but don’t give any thought to the message they convey. Ideally, the three legs should be totally congruent.
How is your website doing?